HENNINGER: Joy of Madness; NOONAN – Migrants & Elites.
DEBATE: LEVIN – Throwing spaghetti; LOWRY – Carly’s night; WHALEN – Batchelor Show.
LEADS: AP – Fed rates; Kane & Costa – Boehner?
IRAN: DeYOUNG – BO to implement; ERNST – 5 fighters for $500M.
PA: KNEPPER – PA teacher strikes.
Daniel Henninger, WSJ: “The Joy of Madness”
“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Howard Beale, “Network”
“. . . That was 1976. This is 2015. It’s back. What happened?
“In June, Republicans were conducting a respectable competition for their presidential nomination among experienced, accomplished public figures—Govs. Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie and Rick Perry, plus provocative newcomers such as Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and the rest.
Unnoticed then but discovered in days after Donald Trump’s Beale-like presidential announcement June 16 (“I will build a great, great wall!”) was that at least 25% of Republican voters had already gone mad. Whether angry mad or just plain crazy mad hardly matters. They’d had it, loooong before the presidential campaign started. An agog political class watched Bernie Sanders prove that 25% of Democrats were also mad as hell.
“In the U.S. and Western world generally there is a spreading sense of weak or poor political leadership. Because he sits as president of the United States, the lead nation, Barack Obama bears responsibility for much of this madness. His conduct of the presidency, more than all the other pilloried persons in public life, led us to Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
“People think politics is a system for getting what they want. So it is, and the vast ideological gulf between the public-sector Democratic Party and private-sector Republicans has a lot to do with the frustration. The other traditional purpose of politics, though, is to be a release valve, a place to vent, to at least be heard. . .”
Peggy Noonan, WSJ: “The Migrants and the Elites”
“A humanitarian crisis threatens the future of Western institutions.
“. . . Here is the challenge for people in politics: The better you do, the higher you go, the more detached you become from real life. You use words like “perception” a lot. But perception is not as important as reality.
“The great thing in politics, the needed thing, is for those who are raised high in terms of responsibility and authority to be yet still, in their heads and hearts, of the people, experiencing life as a common person on an average street. The challenge is to carry the average street inside you. Only then, when the street is wrong, can you persuade it to see what is right.
“The biggest thing leaders don’t do now is listen. They no longer hear the voices of common people. Or they imitate what they think it is and it sounds backward and embarrassing. In this age we will see political leaders, and institutions, rock, shatter and fall due to that deafness.”
DEBATE . . .
Conversation two weeks ago on the post office steps –
“Carly will get to choose our next president or vice president.”
“You and I are reading the same sheet of music . . .”
Mark Levin, “My Brief on the Second Debate”
“People throwing spaghetti at each other . . .”
“1. CNN’s format was awful. The entire effort was intended to instigate fights between and among the candidates. They wanted a brawl. The early part of the debate was the worst — right out of the box, piling on Donald Trump. Like Trump or not, this is a Republican debate. As I’ve been saying for a while, when will the RNC stop turning over the GOP debates to the media? I find these debate formats demeaning of the candidates and not particularly informative.
“2. Twice now Ted Cruz was treated as a third-tier candidate. He received very little time and was rarely called on. Moreover, when he tried to speak as a”skeptic” during the discussion about global warming – where Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, and Chris Christie apparently accepted the supposed”science” of global warming — Jake Tapper rudely cut him off. When Cruz had about 60 uninterrupted seconds or so to address the Iran deal debacle, he was superb. Same with the Supreme Court. There appears to be a pattern in these debate to marginalize him. Unfortunately, given the nature of these debates, he needs to become a bit more aggressive in pushing his way into the discussions.
“3. Tapper repeatedly sought a fight between Jeb Bush and Trump, which is why they wound up using more time than most of the other candidates. Did we learn anything from most of it? No.
“4. Going in, I believe the establishment media were poised to declare Carly Fiorina a victor over Trump and most of the field as she has become one of the establishment favorites. The indications were everywhere. In fact, most of the same voices and writers who opposed Trump and before him Cruz are singing her praises today. They are no longer concerned about lack of governing background of an outsider or flip-flopping, etc. I remember in the 2010 GOP Senate primary race in California she staked out the moderate Republican position against State Representative Chuck DeVore. She didn’t sound like a traditional, Reagan conservative back then. And her response to the birthright citizenship questions were wrong and jumbled. In fact, Trump has a superior understanding of the issue. Rand Paul reluctantly had to agreed. And in that Senate campaign, Fiorina mocked Barbara Boxer’s looks (understandable), a fact ignored by Tapperl ast night. Why? The audio is public. Finally, her record as a corporate CEO is mixed. But do not expect it to be scrutinized by her cheerleaders in and out of the media. But the Democrats won’t ignore it. Let me be clear: I have nothing against Fiorina, but there’s reason to be at least a little skeptical. See Conservative Review and Fortune.
“5. I thought Chris Christie did pretty well. He’s a good debater. But the problem is that his record belies much of his more recent conservative rhetoric and positions. Mike Huckabee always scores some solid points but, again, his record is shoddy (e.g., he supported virtually every GOP establishment candidate in recent Senate primary races). I remain perplexed as to why John Kasich belatedly jumped into the race. He has become more liberal than GOP primary voters and there were already a number of establishment candidates in the race. I like Ben Carson very much; however, his position on the minimum wage was not particularly strong. And his delivery is, sadly, problematic. There’s a middle ground between loudly provocative and speaking in such quiet tones. That said, I personally like him very much. Rand Paul did much better this time around in staking out his more libertarian views. “But, again, his attack-dog tactics against Trump don’t help him. Scott Walker is a solid conservative with a record to prove it. He did better in this debate but he doesn’t shine in these debate formats. Conversely, Marco Rubio does well in these debate formats. And he is solid on a number of issues. However, for many it is difficult to get past his varying positions on immigration, which is an overriding issue for many conservatives. Jeb Bush did better in this debate as well, but he is still under-performing. In fact, many in the establishment media who were touting Bush are today cheerleaders for Fiorina. Had Bush scored well they’d be touting him. If his name was not Bush, he would have been in the earlier debate yesterday. Finally, Trump came under an early withering assault, which was the game plan of both CNN and several of the other candidates. For the most part, he withstood the attacks. I may be in the minority but I thought he bested Fiorina on their back-and-forth about business acumen and birthright citizenship. In any event, he did no harm. And for a front runner, at least for now, that’s a good enough night.”
Rich Lowry, NRO: “Carly’s Night”
“Carly had a terrific night. Her handling of the Trump insult of her looks was pitch perfect, understated, but pointed. Her answer on Planned Parenthood was moving. She was a little too defensive on her HP record–understandably since it’s a vulnerability–but counterpunched effectively against Trump in that exchange. Her worst moment was when she made it obvious that Christie had gotten under her skin with his dig that average workers could care less about her and Trump arguing about their business records. Her concluding statement was very canned, but well done. I’d be shocked if she doesn’t keep rising in the polls.
“Rubio was excellent. Everything he said was well-received. He knows the issues and is a smooth, relatable communicator. Of course, he got good reviews last time, but didn’t get a bump in the polls, perhaps because he didn’t have one signature moment. He didn’t tonight, either. But it’s clear that he is going to excel in these forums. Bush had a tough time grappling with Trump. Even when he had cutting points to make about Trump, even when he had cause to be righteously indignant over Trump’s attacks on his wife and brother, he couldn’t quite pull it off. He had nice moments–his reminder that W. kept us safe, his jokes about his mom probably being disappointed in his admission he smoked pot and about “everready” being his prospective Secret Service name because it’s high energy. But he didn’t show mastery. The contrast with how Mitt Romney manhandled Rick Perry in the debates and Bush’s inability to wrestle Trump to the ground is striking. “As for the others: Carson seemed much more like he was during most of the last debate, without the strong finish; Cruz was good, although a number of his answers got cut off at the end by Jake Tapper and I’m not sure he made a big impression; Christie was crisp and forceful; Kasich seems in a rush to occupy the Jon Huntsman space in the race; Walker was fine, but didn’t stand out; Huckabee was his fluid, folksy self, but there don’t seem to be anything transformative; Rand Paul isn’t much of a factor. Finally, Trump. He wasn’t any better than last time, and he presumably won’t be able to spin a narrative of victimhood coming out of this debate. One hopes for his sake that there is someone around him who can approach him tomorrow and say, “Sir, I regret to inform you that you actually have to know something to run for president and that I have no choice to recommend that you read a policy briefing or two.” By the end of the three hours of his usual array of insults and airy, seat-of-the-pants answers, he felt a little tired and diminished, but who knows how it will affect his standing? www.nationalreview.com/corner/424194/lesprit-de-lescalier-debate-edition-kevin-d-williamson
Jonah Goldberg, NRO: “About Last Night” “. . . my brief takeaways: Objectively, I think everyone got at least a passing grade. The problem is that these things are graded on a subjective curve. So what would be a gentleman’s C in a smaller field or in a different season, can be a failing grade. In the undercard debate, I think Graham and Jindal were the best, but neither did what they needed to do — if it was even possible — to get out of the also-rans. In the main event, I’m pretty much on the same page as Rich and the others. I think Fiorina was the winner. Rubio was, again, surefooted and relatable (except for that awful water joke at the beginning). I actually think that, after Fiorina, Chris Christie may have helped himself the most. He doesn’t need a huge pop in the polls right now. He merely needs people to be open to giving him a second look, and I think he did that. Maybe he’ll gain a point or two in the rankings, but the real sign he helped himself will be whether he gets bigger crowds in New Hampshire and an uptick in donations.
“I am very disappointed in both Ben Carson and Rand Paul for not being more forceful on the issue of vaccinations — one of the only topics Trump discussed with any specificity. Both of these guys claim to be unconventional politicians — Carson more plausibly than Paul — and legitimately tout their medical careers. But their response to Trump smacked of political pandering. As for Trump, who knows? From my perspective he continued to confirm that he has no place on the stage. He was boorish, uninformed and often pretty tedious. But he was also at times entertaining, and his fans have a keen gift for editing out the parts of his act they don’t like. I don’t think he’ll go down in the polls because of anything that happened last night. But I suspect his ceiling of support got a little lower and a little thicker.” www.nationalreview.com/corner/424194/lesprit-de-lescalier-debate-edition-kevin-d-williamson
Bill Whalen (John Batchelor Show)
Hour Three Wednesday 16 September 2015 / Hour 3, Block A: Bill Whalen, Hoover Institution, & David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, in re: live! on this evening’s Republican debate. Yes, some surprises. The stand-out was Carly Fiorina, who’s won the show. She understands debate tactics – you have to barge in – and she did so well. Opposite was Ben Carson, who went quiet for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time. Regrettable when two candidates pushed hard against Jake Tapper. Eleven people on a cramped stage under a Boeing 707. Two-hour-and forty-five minutes’ debate is still going on. Fiorina is almost trying to make the other candidates edgy. Trump 18min; Cruz 9; Huckabee at 8. This is distorting. The networks need to stop. A nasty way to run a debate. One commercial break had an ad featuring Trump, and another mentioning Trump. This format isn’t very good with eleven people on the stage. . . . David Drucker at the debate in Simi Valley – was there a clear winner? A couple. Fiorina shone. Jeb Bush . . . ; Rubio and Cruz extremely solid. “ http://johnbatchelorshow.com/schedules/wednesday-17-september-2015
LEADS. . .
AP: “US stocks open lower as Fed uncertainty weighs on markets”
“. . . Stock markets tumbled Friday, particularly in Europe, as investors were left in limbo following the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep U.S. interest rates unchanged at a record low.
Though the Fed had not been expected to raise interest rates for the first time in more than nine years, investors appeared worried by the lack of guidance from the central bank and its concern about the global economy.
“In its accompanying policy statement, the Fed revealed worries that “recent global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat and are likely to put further downward pressure on inflation in the near-term”.
“Though Fed Chair Janet Yellen said a rate hike this year is possible, much depends on incoming economic data – and that only adds to the uncertainty for investors. . .”
Also – WSJ: “Stuck on Zero”
Paul Kane & Robert Costa, WaPo: “Boehner and his allies prepare fall battle with conservative GOP critics”
“House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is bracing for what could be the toughest weeks of his speakership as several dozen conservatives in his party are threatening to topple him unless he is more ferocious with Democrats during the upcoming fiscal showdowns.
“That internal feud has increased the chances that Washington, for the second time in two years, could stumble into a shutdown of the federal government.
“The speaker’s lieutenants are openly girding for battle with the small but influential bloc of anti-Boehner conservatives who have signaled that if Boehner cuts any deal that they don’t like with congressional Democrats and President Obama, they could seek to remove him from the speaker’s post. It is a threat that Boehner and his allies are taking seriously. . .”
IRAN . . .
Karen DeYoung, WaPo: “Administration prepares to implement Iran nuclear deal as Republicans again fail to stop it”
“Following a final failed attempt by Senate Republicans to kill the Iran nuclear agreement Thursday, the administration moved aggressively toward putting it into effect, naming a new czar to oversee implementation and announcing that President Obama would issue waivers suspending all U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on Oct. 18.
“The waivers will not go into effect until what the agreement itself calls ‘Implementation Day,’ when the International Atomic Energy Agency certifies that Iran has complied with all of its obligations — including removal of 98 percent of its enriched uranium stockpile, shutting down its underground enrichment facility and rendering inoperative the core of a plutonium-capable reactor.
“Senior administration officials said those processes could take well into 2016 once they begin next month, under the terms of the deal completed in July.
“Secretary of State John F. Kerry appointed a career foreign service officer, Stephen D. Mull, as implementation coordinator among U.S. agencies and negotiating partners, reporting directly to the secretary’s office. Before his most recent job as U.S. ambassador to Poland, Mull played a key role in early negotiations with Iran.
“‘I have always said that, as important as it was to negotiate the nuclear deal with Iran, implementing it was going to be even more crucial in meeting our national security objectives,’ Kerry said in announcing Mull’s appointment.
“Thursday was the deadline, under legislation negotiated between Obama and Congress, for lawmakers to vote a resolution of disapproval of the deal. If such a vote could be sustained with an override of Obama’s promised veto, it would have prevented the president from exercising provisions allowing him to waive sanctions provisions.
“Senate Democrats for the third time blocked a resolution vote, preventing the Republican-backed measure from getting the 60 votes it needed to advance. Thursday’s failed proposal would have also barred any waivers unless Iran recognized Israel and released four American prisoners it is holding. . .”
Douglas Ernst, WND: “Obama spends $500 million to train 5 anti-ISIS fighters”
“Gen. Lloyd Austin, who leads the U.S. military’s Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday there are only four or five Syrian fighters left out of 54 who were trained as part of a U.S. program.
“Another 100-120 fighters will be trained in the program’s three remaining classes, NBC News reported Wednesday.
“Obama said in September that assisting Syrian rebels was “the best counterweight” for combating the Sunni radical terror group’s control over large swathes of Iraq and Syria, NBC reported. . .”
PA . . .
Leo Knepper, CAP: “Is the PSEA Aiming for a Record Number of Teacher Strikes?”
“The new school year is less than a month old, but there are already two districts where teachers are on strike. To make matters worse, there are at least two more districts where teachers have indicated they’d walk out by mid-October. Teachers from Shamokin and Line Mountain Areas are out of the classroom. In both cases, the teachers’ unions are demanding more.
‘It is apparent, by the Association’s last proposal, that the Association has no desire to settle these negotiations…Based on McDade’s leadership of 5 other local Teachers’ Unions toward strikes, regardless of how much they are being offered, it is obvious they just want more!’
“In Shamokin Area, the School Board offered teachers $9,000 in salary increases over the next 3 three school years. The Line Mountain School Board was even more generous, some teachers in that district would have seen their salaries increase by over $17,000 by 2020. While the exorbitant salary demands of the teachers place the initial burden on district taxpayers, higher salaries also mean higher pensions. A multi-billion dollar funding shortfall in the pension system means taxpayers all over the state will be picking up those costs.
“Pennsylvania is one of only thirteen states where teachers are allowed to hold students’ education hostage to extract a higher salary and better benefits than the taxpayers who are covering the tab. We also lead the nation in teachers’ strikes. It would appear we are on track to keep that title.”